When we set out to create Go Faster, our new High-Speed Internet commercial, we knew we wanted to feature not only the beautiful scenery around Central Oregon, but also a local business.
Given the spot’s motorcycle theme, we reached out to the cool crew at Spoken Moto, Bend’s destination location for high-octane espresso, local taps, distinctive swag, live music, and, of course, a shining lineup of vintage bikes. (If you didn’t notice, the commercial starts with our rider planning his route at Spoken.)
We sat down on a recent breezy weekday to talk a little shop with Brian Gingerich, co-founder and owner of Spoken Moto.
Authenticity and Character on Wheels
With its open-beamed roof, corrugated metal paneling, garage door walls, and concrete floors, there’s no denying Spoken’s strong aesthetic. A whiff of petrol permeates the atmosphere, mingling tantalizingly with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and leather.
But don’t let the patina fool you. As the Moto Guzzi parked outside and the Yamaha Daytona Special 400 inside indicates, this is a place for serious bike enthusiasts. It’s also a go-to spot for working solo on a laptop, connecting with business and community partners, and kicking back with friends.
In other words, Spoken is a hub, the embodiment of the dream Gingerich and his partner had back in 2014, when the idea of Spoken took form.
From Hobby to Local Hub
At first, Spoken’s space was a place for Gingerich and his partner to rebuild and repair nearly 60 vintage motorcycles they had acquired via Craigslist, then to keep a few and sell the rest. Today, those bikes are long gone, the silver toolbox and lifts from the shop remain in service. In Spoken Moto’s digs near Bend’s bustling Box Factory shops, old-school reclamation sits in harmony alongside modern amenities: The building honors the mechanic’s shop it once was, known back in the day as the Pine Shed. A salvaged door lists current local taps and announces upcoming events.
So how did a hobby motorcycle shop roar to life as one of Central Oregon’s favorite places to connect?
The idea was always to have a place to gather, laugh, and work on bikes, Gingerich says. The partners first envisioned a co-op, with members, and then discovered that what they wanted had already gained traction in iconic places like Deus Ex Machina in Los Angeles, See See Motorcycles in Portland and London’s Ace Cafe. The wheel was already invented, they just needed to form it to their unique Central Oregon vision. Accessible to all, and “moto-centric,” Gingerich says, “not moto-dominating.”
High-Speed Internet for All
BendBroadband provides the high-speed Internet service at Spoken, and Spoken makes it available to anyone who takes a seat.
“We don’t throttle it,” Gingerich says.
Freedom is a deep part of the philosophy here: freedom to feel the thrill of the road beneath your wheels, and freedom to ride the digital superhighway without restrictions. In Gingerich’s view, access to high-speed Internet ultimately fosters the analog, grass-roots human interaction that gives the place its character.
“Reliable internet is integral for running this kind of business,” he says. It keeps the music playing, manages the retail, and powers up Gingerich’s law practice, which he often steers from a table in the shop.
A Lasting Connection
Spoken Moto and BendBroadband have enjoyed a happy relationship since Spoken opened its doors in July of 2016.
“The (BendBroadband tech) really dug the concept,” Gingerich says.
That relationship continues today, so much so that BendBroadband’s in-house creative team turned to Spoken staffers for advice on the Go Faster commercial. Gingerich, Priscilla White and others were elemental to lining up the shoot locations, production schedule, potential bikes and riders. “When we started out, we didn’t know any riders in town, or where to film. We needed some guidance, and the help we got from the Spoken crew was invaluable,” says Jeanie Morton, who coordinated the shoot for BendBroadband. “And then on production day, when we started shooting very early in the morning, their coffee was invaluable, too.”
By Irene Cooper